Campos Racing’s Mari Boya was beaming with pride after fighting back through the field from P27 to ninth at this weekend’s Imola Feature Race.

The Spaniard had endured a difficult weekend up until that point with a disappointing Qualifying followed by a short Sprint Race where he was hit into the gravel on the opening lap.

But he returned on Sunday and replicated the form that he had showed at in-season testing last month, pulling off several overtakes on his way to adding two points to his 2024 tally.

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“It was quite an unexpected place for me to start but it is what it is after Qualifying,” said Boya. “We knew it would be a hard weekend for me and yesterday I couldn't drive because I got taken out on Lap 1.

“So, I didn't have any experience with race simulation and how the deg would be. But the car was just amazing, I knew some tricks on how to save the tyres to be fast at the end, but I also made some mistakes because I was expecting a different rate of deg to what I had.

“But still, I adapted quickly to it and maximised all I had. I’m super proud of the team. The car is working really well for me and if we get a cleaner weekend, especially in Qualifying – we understand what happened, so we will move on – and I think we will be good in Monaco.”

Boya admitted that it was not until Lap 10 of the race when he compared his time to his rivals that he realised he could score points, making his way through the field despite how difficult he felt it was to overtake.

Boya was pleased with his performance after struggling in Qualifying on Friday
Boya was pleased with his performance after struggling in Qualifying on Friday

He says the pace shown in the Feature Race is “nothing new” however and puts it down to the fact that he felt much more confident over the longer distance than he did in Qualifying.

“All the races we have been at the top in terms of pace and also we were coming from testing in Barcelona in which we were P1 two days out of three, so the confidence coming here was super high,” said Boya.

“But after FP I wasn't feeling super confident with the car and especially in Qualifying, I got my lap time deleted but I wasn't coming really fast on that lap. I was looking at my sectors and they weren't good, so I knew I had to risk it in the last sector and that's why I got the track limits.

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“I’m super happy and I am super proud of the team because we found what the issue was. This race I really wanted to finish it to feel how the car felt and for sure the car was there today but in Qualifying it wasn't. It is what it is, but I think I will get stronger, there is still a long way in the Championship so let's fight and focus on the next races.”

His attentions will turn straight to Monte Carlo where Boya believes his experience of racing will help him fight for “everything” as long as he has a clean weekend.

“Yeah, Qualifying is even more important there than here,” added Boya. “I will try to learn from what happened here. It's more or less the same tendency of the weekend. I know the track, I've had the opportunity to drive it many times, so I think that is something extra for me.

“But we will see. The car is always working really well, it doesn't matter the conditions, so I am confident. But I just want a clean weekend with no issues and hundred percent we will fight for everything.”